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20/20 GeneSystems, Applera, Cytoplex Biosciences, Surface Logix


20/20 GeneSystems of Rockville, Md., and the United States of America of Washington, DC, have received US Patent No. 6,969,615, "Methods, devices, arrays and kits for detecting and analyzing biomolecules." The patent claims devices, arrays, kits and methods for detecting biomolecules in a tissue section or other substantially two-dimensional sample. The method proceeds by creating carbon copies of the biomolecules eluted from the sample and visualizing the biomolecules on the copies using one or more detector molecules having specific affinity for the biomolecules of interest. Specific methods are described in the patent for identifying the pattern of biomolecules in the samples. Other specific methods are provided for the identification and analysis of proteins and other biological molecules produced by cells and/or tissue, especially human cells and/or tissue. The patent also claims a plurality of differentially prepared and/or processed membranes that can be used in described methods, and which permit the identification and analysis of biomolecules.

Applera of Norwalk, Conn., has received US Patent No. 6,967,094, "Isolated human drug-metabolizing proteins, nucleic acid molecules encoding human drug-metabolizing proteins, and uses thereof." The patent claims microarrays of nucleic acid molecules that are based on provided sequence information. Isolated peptide and nucleic acid molecules, methods of identifying orthologs, and paralogs of the proteins of the present invention, and methods of identifying modulators of proteins are also described in the patent.

Applera has also received US Patent No. 6,970,240, "Combination reader." The patent claims an apparatus for imaging an array of a plurality of features associated with a sample tile. The apparatus includes a stage that supports the sample tile in an illumination region, and an illumination source having a plurality of LEDs adapted to emit light. Additionally, the apparatus includes an image collecting device adapted to selectively collect images of either a first signal when the illumination source is illuminating the illumination region, or a second signal absent illumination of the illumination region. The first signal has wavelengths effectively different from the wavelengths of the portion of the light emitted by the LEDs that illuminates the illumination region.

Cytoplex Biosciences of Plano, Tex., has received US Patent No. 6,969,489, "Microarray for high-throughout screening." The patent claims a microfluidic system comprising two substrates where array-based fluid is stored in through-holes that extend through one of the substrates. Combined capillary and hydrophyllic forces are used to retain the fluid and also transfer it to other substrates of similar type. According to the patent, vacuum and pressure forces can also be used to introduce the fluid and remove the fluid from the known through-holes and transfer the remaining fluid to other substrates. Electrokinetic forces can be used as well to retain and move the fluids across the substrates via the through-holes. The substrates are aligned and the fluids are transferred or mixed based on the above techniques.

Surface Logix of Brighton, Mass., has received US Patent No. 6,967,074, "Methods of detecting immobilized biomolecules." The patent claims a device that can be designed to have spatial arrays corresponding to those of standard microtiter plates, such as 6-well, 12-well, 24-well, 96-well, 384-well, or 1,536-well microtiter plates in formats commonly used in the industry. The patent states that this multilevel array system can be used in high-throughput screening, in the study of protein-protein interactions, cell based assays, and other known biological assays. The device may be compatible with conventional microtiter plate-related products, such as microtiter plate readers and microtiter plate robotic systems, according to the patent. A method for micropatterning of material in discrete spots of sizes in the micron range is also claimed.

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